Since I was a child, my dream was to never work a day in my life. It wasn't that I was lazy or didn't intend to put in effort, I just never wanted to have a job. It was my aspiration to find something I loved and spend my life pursuing it. I'm not quite sure how I came to this perspective at such a young age. Nonetheless, I deeply desired to follow my passion, whatever that ended up being.
However, I spent so much of my adult life doing things I either dreaded or were tolerable at best. I remember getting anxiety so many Sunday evenings due to having to go back to a job on Monday morning I disliked, or hated in some cases. I would watch television as long as possible Sunday nights to extend the weekend. It felt like I was staying off the executioner.
The majority lead dissatisfying lives
If you can relate to my story, you are not alone. I find the majority of humanity is not doing what they love or are passionate about. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive or provide. There is honor in this in the short-term. However, if this occurs long-term, you have either not identified your passion and gift or are impeded by some fear.
In my case, it was a combination of lack of awareness of where my aptitude and desire aligned, lack of belief in myself, and fear. In my work with others struggling in this area, I find these are the dominant causes stopping people from leading a life of purpose and fulfillment. It is easy for someone like myself to say, "Find what you love and pursue it." However, the reality of doing so can be much more complex and challenging.
Identify what energizes you
The place to begin is always to explore and identify what you love and fills you with energy. The biggest initial block people encounter is bringing in the practical too soon. The comments I hear are, "But I couldn't make a living doing it," or, "What?" "I'm just supposed to quit my job and start doing X?"
To avoid this trap, do your best to keep all that to the side temporarily. Instead, focus on what really lights you up. Don't worry about being realistic just yet; you can't edit when you are trying to write. You will bring all the realistic aspects in at the right time. During this process, any limiting beliefs will also surface. Don't get too caught up in them, but just take note of them. You can work on shifting them later as well.
Your purpose is within your passion
Your purpose will always be found within your passion or desire. Sometimes identifying it may come quickly. At other times, it may take longer due to various blocks or failure to have ever received any support or guidance in discovering it. Stay committed to the process. Living a meaningful life depends on it.
Your life has a destiny. You were meant for something more. Yes. YOU! The world needs what you have to give. Having completed this process myself, I can tell you it is like living on a different planet. My Sunday night anxiety has now turned to excitement. If you are living for the weekend, your life is off track. Allow yourself to feel the sting of your discontent. This is the energy that will drive you to make changes more than anything else. Don't suppress it.
You are capable of creating your own reality. Believe it! But you need to connect to the energy and hunger your deepest desire provides. As Nietzsche stated, "He who has a why, can bear any how." Furthermore, your passion is you purpose, no matter what it is. Finding it and doing it will equal joy and fulfillment. Now go do it!
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.